Opera Scotland

Rheingold 1913Denhof Opera Company

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The astonishing phenomenon that was the Edinburgh-based Denhof Opera Company received great critical acclaim for their ambitious repertoire and high standard of presentation. Sadly, audience numbers were sometimes disappointing (especially in Manchester) and resulting financial loss brought the brave venture to an end.

This final season saw the Scottish premieres of Der Rosenkavalier and Pelléas et Mélisande, with further performances of Elektra, brought back from the 1912 season. Conducting was shared between Thomas Beecham (who conducted Mastersingers, Tristan, his first Ring cycles and Magic Flute) and Hans Schilling-Ziemssen.

Repertoire for the Manchester week, commencing Monday 29 September, was:  Mon: Rosenkavalier; Tue Tristan;  Wed Magic Flute;  Thu Pelléas;  Fri Elektra;  Sat mat Rosenkavalier and Sat eve  Flying Dutchman.

The second Manchester week was cancelled because of heavy losses but the company was quickly reconstituted with the financial help of Beecham to allow much of the rest of the tour to take place. Edinburgh survived in the schedule, but the last weeks in Aberdeen and Glasgow were dropped.

After much publicity, the company returned to Manchester for a second week, commencing 3 November (in preference to the originally planned second week at Liverpool). This week featured a Ring cycle, and the full schedule was: Mon Rheingold; Tue Valkyrie,  Wed Siegfried;  Thu Rosenkavalier;  Fri Twilight of the Gods; Sat mat Orpheus and Euridice; Sat eve Mastersingers.

Cast details are taken from posters for the two Manchester weeks in Manchester City Library.

While the Edinburgh Ring is billed as the Denhof Opera Festival, Beecham was now the leading light, and was conducting for the first time. It is noticeable that there have been significant changes in the cast. Only Robert Radford was present in the same role in every season, though Charles Knowles, like many baritones since, was promoted from Donner to Wotan.

Performance Cast

Woglinde a Rhinemaiden

Eveline Matthews

Wellgunde a Rhinemaiden

Ida Cooper

Flosshilde a Rhinemaiden

Wena Pickering

Alberich a Nibelung

Lewys James

Wotan leader of the gods

Charles Knowles

Fricka wife of Wotan and goddess of marriage

Maud Santley

Freia sister of Fricka and goddess of love and spring

Gertrude Blomfield

Fasolt a giant

Robert Radford

Fafner a giant

Arthur Pacyna

Froh god of joy and youth

Jacques Skrobisch

Donner god of thunder

Joseph Ireland

Loge god of fire and cunning

Walter Hyde

Mime a Nibelung, Alberich's brother

Hans Bechstein

Erda goddess of earth and wisdom

Marion Beeley

Performance DatesRheingold 1913

Map List

Grand Theatre, Leeds | Leeds

20 Oct, 19.30

Theatre Royal, Manchester | Manchester

3 Nov, 19.30

King's Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

24 Nov, 19.30

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